Sunday Snippet!

Since the cover reveal was just a few days ago, I thought y’all would like a little snippet from Finding Hope. I cannot wait for release day! Happy Sunday!

“What in the hell is she doing?” I heard Keel ask Drake.

He mumbled an expletive under his breath. “I’ve a guess.”

After grabbing up my pack, I jumped onto the highway and retreated the few meters back to the billboard, which was angled in such a way that it’s torn white background would be viewable for miles. It took several jumps to grab onto the lowest rung of the ladder before I got a hold strong enough to dangle from. My arms, not used to the hoisting, protested at the effort of reaching up at the second rung, but I refused to let go. A handful of minutes later I was standing on the narrow ledge that ran from one side of the commercial display board to the other. Being careful to not lean backwards, I took the pack off and dug around inside it until my hands found the can of spray paint.

“Have you gone mad?” Keel yelled from the ground, safely below me.

“I just need one minute,” I said, while giving the can a few good shakes.

I moved slowly and carefully from one side to the other and then back again for a second trip. A few times I was up on my toes, stretching as far as my arms would go. Once done, I dropped the can back into my bag and inched my way along the wet billboard to the ladder, being careful to not drag my hands along any rusted metal. My tetanus shot was long overdo.

“Are you shitting me?” Keel asked, staring up at the board with an expression of shock.

Smiling, I led the way back to the truck, where Drake still sat in the passenger seat with his head resting against the window.

“Are you crazy? You are, aren’t you?” Keel demanded, before allowing me to crawl into the cab.

“Probably.”

With a slow shake of his head, he glanced down the highway at the back of the billboard. “Riley,” he said carefully, “one day you’re going to trust the wrong person and get yourself killed.”

“But not today, right?” No, not today, I thought. I ran the words through my head again, hoping that saying them to myself would somehow help him find them later.

Connor, go North. I’m there. – R


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00075]COMING SOON

Riley’s journey continues in the third installment of the Find Me series. With the promise of a better life on the horizon, she reluctantly leaves the Laguna Mountains of Southern California behind for the good of her group. But not everyone makes the trip. During her struggle to come to terms with the choices she’s made in the past, Riley turns to her inner circle for hope. But finding it will be more difficult than she ever imagined when her choices come back to haunt her. She’s lost her family. She’s lost friends. She’s lost love. And now in Finding Hope, Riley just might lose herself.

As some questions are answered, others are created. Who will survive? And will hope be found?

Meet ‘Jin’

I love new characters. They have a point to each story – be it a fleeting one or a complex one – and the new side character in FINDING HOPE is a cool one. But since I wrote him, I’m a bit biased.

Anyway, here is an intro scene with ‘Jin’, inspiration taken from Jang Dong Gun, where I found the image below on Pinterest. No, it’s not mine. You can run over to my Find Me Series inspiration board to see more of him. *double wink*

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His voice, still calm and exotic, spoke flatly, “You are not well.”

“I’ll be fine.”

“You were not fine outside. You were dying.”

I flattened my back against the wall, struggling to breathe in deeply. Once my lungs were fully inflated again, I pulled the zipper up on my coat, stopping just below my chin. “You brought me here. Why?”

“Like I said. You were dying.”

“So, you’re the last good Samaritan left in the world? I don’t believe in those anymore. You should have left me.”

He stood and looked at me sideways, and I braced against the wall expecting his approach. But instead, he spoke, “Perhaps.”

My head, heavy and hurting, couldn’t take the simple process of having a conversation with a stranger. “Don’t…don’t come near me. I’ll…hurt you. I said, I’m leaving.” My hand felt along the wooden planks that lined the interior of the room until they found the latch on the door. With a sharp tug, it opened. I watched the man named Jin tuck each hand into his pockets and nod at me.

“Go quickly then. The air is cold.”

“No shit, Captain Obvious,” I snapped.

I spun around quickly to avoid him, pushing myself off the wall and out the door into a dark, cloudless night. The first breath of evening felt coated in frost, and the coughing fit that followed brought me down to one knee. It was there, struggling against the wooden deck to suck in the frozen air, that I realized the man had not lied to me. And he wasn’t crazy. We were, in fact, in the trees.

Can’t believe I did this…

I never thought the day would come when I’d use the term, ‘No shit, Sherlock,’ in a book. But I did. And it fits. Here’s a snippet for you, unedited of course…enjoy!


“Shit, Drake! Were you aiming straight for it?!”

His head felt unnaturally heavy, weighted down like an anchor was attached to the back of his neck, pulling him underwater into the void. Yet, he heard Keel bitching from beside him, and that kept him from fully drowning in the darkness. Drake’s breaths were long and deep, and with each heave of the chest, his chin moved, making his head sway back and forth. It was an uncomfortable way to breathe, so Drake forced his eyes open and lifted a hand to his face, straining the muscles in his neck until they worked again. When he was fully upright, the first thing he saw was the ejected airbag. Part of it rested just on top of his thighs, and looked as if it had been vomited from the steering wheel into his lap. A fine splatter of blood drops covered one side of the material, and Drake felt along his left temple, where the throbbing that echoed inside his brain seemed to start from. All five fingers came back wet with blood.

“What happened?” he asked his hand.

“You went straight at the fucker, that’s what happened, you ass!” Keel yelled.

Drake turned his neck to find Keel safely strapped into his seat, shaking small pebbles of broken glass out of his hair. “What?” he asked.

Keel glanced at Drake and opened his mouth for another insult but let his jaw fall slack before swallowing. “Great. You’re bleeding. What’d you do, hit the window?”

“Hit the window?” Drake touched his temple again and winced. “We’ve been in an accident.”

“No shit, Sherlock.” Keel leaned across the truck cab and twisted the ignition key. The engine started with an ugly squeal and Keel sat back in his seat, relieved. “Still works. I’ll drive.”

The sun outside seemed to be sparkling over a small patch of diamonds. It took Drake a moment to realize there were no jewels scattered on the road outside his window, only glass from the accident. He saw the van, pushed completely off the shoulder now, its back end firmly pressed into a tree.

“Anyone hurt?” he asked Keel, who’d already exited his side of the truck and was walking around the front, stretching his neck and cursing.

“Just you, dumb ass.”

“I didn’t see it. The sun,” Drake said, pointing outside. “There was something in the trees…”

“Move over.” Keel opened the driver door and pushed Drake into the passenger seat. “Put this on your head, and stay put.” He tossed a rolled up handkerchief at him before turning away from the truck. “Damn, what a mess.”

Drake blotted at the cut on his head while watching Keel circle the van. He came back to the truck a few minutes later with more concern on his face than Drake had seen before.

“What is it? Someone in there dead?” Drake asked nervously.

“No, it’s empty. Whoever was driving is long gone. But the van…I recognize it.” Keel leaned on the door frame and followed the upward curve of the paved road with his gaze. “This has to stop soon, we’re almost to the top of the damn mountain,” he mumbled.

Drake stared at the smashed van resting in the embankment, noting its faded white paint job and newly smashed front end. One of the tires had exploded from the accident, causing the frame to tilt precariously toward the driver side. His brows furrowed as he tried to place where he’d seen it before. And it came back to him as Keel hopped into the truck and slammed the door shut.

“Those bastards on the road…that’s their van,” Drake said. His mouth filled with the sharp taste of iron, and he spit blood out the missing passenger window from where he’d bit a hole into the side of his tongue.

“Yeah, what are the chances?”

The two men looked at each other briefly before Keel put the truck back in drive and slowly pulled away. They listened to the crunch of the tires moving over the broken glass in silence.

Please don’t let her be with them, Drake thought to himself. Please don’t let those animals have Riley.

– Find Me #3, Coming Soon


Sunday Snippet!

Drake sighed and sat down hard on the edge of the bunk, sending a quiver of squeaky bounces through the mattress springs. “Look, Riley, something happened earlier. With Keel.”

“I already know all about it.”

Both the men stiffened into statues.

The room felt cooler, more still, like no one was breathing. With a quick sigh, I shrugged a shoulder and put on the best nonchalant expression I could muster. “He came down here to see me. We had words. Balls were kicked. Then…I just took a walk.” I pulled a blanket over my legs. Partly because they were still numb from trudging through two feet of snow in just jeans, but also because I felt exposed in my lie.

“You just took a walk.” Drake’s face twisted in a grimace, as if he was struggling to swallow a bee without getting stung.

“And I’m back now and perfectly fine, see?”

The side of Drake’s neck flushed with pink splotches. His face was scruffy, his hair ruffled, and his dirt-streaked clothes were deeply pressed with wrinkles. He was a mess. More so than usual.

“You need to stay away from that man, Riley. I don’t trust him,” Winchester said.

“Who, Keel? Well, I suppose you shouldn’t. It’s a mistake to trust anyone these days. Has Drake been dragging you around this place for the last hour? I’m sure you’re needed somewhere else. There’s nothing exciting going on with me, I assure you.” Roughly, I rubbed my legs to get some warmth back into my feet. I hadn’t felt the cold on my walk to the Tank, but my bones nearly froze solid on the way back.

Winchester shook his head sharply before crossing and uncrossing his arms. “I was looking for you, too. Thought you would want to know…the baby’s sick.”

– FM3 (COMING SOON)

Sunday Snippet

“People think a smile means you’re happy. But it doesn’t. A smile is just a mask that hides what you really feel – what you really think. They say I have a pretty smile, but they have no idea how ugly I feel on the inside. How ugly I think the world is. I don’t trust smiles anymore…they’re just lies that hide the truth. I’m sick and tired of smiling.”

– Kerry-Anne, a Station Series Novelette